"In this time of defense budget reductions, as well as shifting customer priorities, Boeing has decided to close its operations in Wichita to reduce costs, increase efficiencies, and drive competitiveness," says Mark Bass, vice president and general manager for BDS' Maintenance, Modifications & Upgrades division.

"We will begin programme transitions in the coming months, with the complete closure of the site scheduled for the end of 2013. We do not anticipate job reductions as a result of this decision until early in the third quarter of 2012."

Boeing Wichita is the base for the company's Global Transport & Executive Systems business and its B-52 and 767 International Tanker programmes. The facility also provides support for flight mission planning and integrated logistics.

Future aircraft maintenance, modification and support work will be placed at the Boeing facility in San Antonio. Engineering work will be placed at the Boeing facility in Oklahoma City. Work on the KC-46 tanker will now be performed in Puget Sound, Washington, but the 24 Kansas suppliers on the programme will be providing vital elements of the aircraft as originally planned.